Game changer

After a string of acquisitions, Dell has combined its channel marketing teams into one, a move the vendor says will transform how it works with partners in the region.

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Game changer Basil Ayass, marketing director, Dell Middle East.
By  Manda Banda Published  September 1, 2013

After a string of acquisitions, Dell has combined its channel marketing teams into one, a move the vendor says will transform how it works with partners in the region, Manda Banda reports.

In the past three years Dell has made a string of acquisitions aimed at expanding the company’s reach and help fight the kind of stagnation and bureaucratic roadblocks that can stifle innovation at big firms. Rather than absorb these acquisitions by merging them with existing divisions and business units, Dell has until recently let them stay largely independent, while free to leverage its considerable resources as part of a broader push to reach more enterprise customers.

On its part, Dell is quietly re-branding itself for a post-PC world. A string of recent mergers mark its attempted transformation from a consumer-device company into a business focused on the enterprise. If successful, analysts say the tech giant’s corporate overhaul could mean generous returns for itself and the entire channel ecosystem. However, the real question is whether Dell’s fresh direction can power up revenue growth and help the company capture new business.

For Dell’s Middle East channel partners, the transformation couldn’t have come at the right time given the declining fortunes in the global PC business. The acquisitions have given Dell all the pieces it needs to be a full-strength enterprise vendor, offering storage, software, security, networking, consulting and high-end services.

“Dell has been going through a transformation and it’s very clear that the company has reinvented itself. It’s in the open that we are reinventing ourselves from a technology, channel engagement and investment perspective in the Middle East region,” said Basil Ayass, marketing director, Dell Middle East.

Ayass said what Dell has done as it acquired companies averaging eight per year over the past three years, was to do the integration process with a couple of the early acquisitions. He said once that was done, Dell let the entities operate largely autonomous until the integration process was complete.

Ayass said for classic or legacy Dell channel partners, every time the company acquired a new technology and made that offering available to the public, it extended the offerings to the channel first. “To resale a solution is quite simple. However, to integrate the new solution with the existing Dell offerings and to give the value proposition and solve business problems at customer level, is where we need our channel to step up,” he said.

How has Dell managed to integrate over 24 companies it acquired in span of 36 months?

“I do believe that it boils down to a few things. First, we hired an IT veteran by the name of Dave Johnson and he has led mergers and acquisitions in the past for IBM for many years. I think when he came to Dell, he brought with him this mindset,” said Ayass.

Ayass said Johnson had a vision and wanted Dell to have an end-to-end solutions capability in the infrastructure space. “When Johnson mapped out Dell’s existing offerings, he identified IP gaps in storage, networking, security and services,” he said.

“We had no networking, security, software and storage capabilities except for the reselling agreements with alliance partners. In the services space we had the break and fix model but the company went after consulting and high-end services.”

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